If you have ever made your own glaze-test batches, you’ve probably been frustrated by how much the glaze splatters when you mix it. It’s common to mix 100-gram test batches in large Solo cups, even though the volume of the glaze fits in much smaller cups (see 3) (I buy mine in larger quantities through restaurant suppliers without the straw-hole in the lid). The problem with this smaller size is that an immersion blender doesn’t fit into the cup and would displace too much of the liquid anyway.
I discovered that I could use my smaller cups if I used a milk frother to mix the glaze. I found some milk frothers on Amazon (1), but they don’t have enough power. Then I realized that the wand can be removed from the mixer and fitted into my studio drill (2). This milk-frother wand/drill combination gives me plenty of power without causing splattering or displacing any of the liquid (3, 4). Problem solved!
You don’t necessarily need lidded cups, but the lid is helpful if you’re mixing your tests over several days and you don’t want them to dry out. I have found that students often take several days to get through a series of tests, and so they’re especially helpful in the classroom. I also sometimes make additional glaze blends based on the initial fired results. Keeping the glazes wet throughout the firing process means you can quickly add more oxides or stains after the firing without necessarily mixing more base glaze—lids are helpful!
If you work at an academic institution, you likely have hazardous waste disposal services. After testing, we dump our remaining glaze tests into a separate plastic bucket for proper disposal, then rinse and re-use our cups and lids.